Friday February 9th and Friday March 2nd St. Mark's was very fortunate to host a viewing of the documentary If They Had Known. The film spotlights the perils of mixing prescription drugs and alcohol. If They Had Known is about the life and death of Clay Soper, a teenager from affluent Winchester Massachusetts. This was not a typical film presentation as the takeaways were what the dangers of mixing prescription drugs and alcohol are, what the warning signs of someone in trouble were, and what to do when you recognized a friend was in trouble.
As a wellness department we were really intentional about how to handle the conversations after the viewing of the documentary as we knew that based on personal history and background that the film would evoke different emotions from certain individuals. After the first night, the wellness department broke into small groups in order to have conversations around If They Had Known. The students were asked to write on a note card what their initial reaction was to the film and if they had questions that they were unwilling to ask in front of a small group. What came out of these discussions were that our students were too timid to speak freely in front of adults of authority.
The second showing had both Geoff and Allie Soper there to take questions from the student community. Geoff was the dad and Allie was the sister of Clay Soper. Adria Pavletic, our Director of Health Services, was able to speak to the St. Mark's community about the reasons why prescriptions drugs effects the central nervous system when mixed with alcohol. Adria and the contribution from the Soper family made for a powerful presentation.